A Matter of Principle Hardcover – Aug 31 2011
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"...Authorative and highly readable...."
—Andrew Roberts, The Daily Beast
"An enthralling work."
"A gripping account."
About the Author
Conrad Black is the author of critically acclaimed biographies of Maurice Duplessis, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Richard Nixon. The former head of the Argus and Hollinger corporate groups and of London's Telegraph newspapers, Black is also the founder of Canada's National Post. For some years he has been a columnist there and at the National Review Online (New York). Black has been a member of the British House of Lords since 2001.
In 2005, Black was accused of a total of 17 charges of criminal corporate misconduct in the United States, and prosecutors sought life imprisonment and fines and restitution totalling $140 million. After six years, all the charges were either abandoned, rejected by jurors, or in the case of four convictions, vacated unanimously by the United States Supreme Court. On the original convictions, he was sentenced to imprisonment for 78 months and restitution of $6.1 million. After 29 months in federal prison, he was released on bail, but the appellate panel whose findings had been vacated by the high court restored two counts when the case was remanded back to it. On June 24, 2011, Black was resentenced to a further seven and a half months in prison, which he is serving at time of publication, and 90 per cent of his fine was restored to him. Conrad Black has never ceased to assert his innocence.
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Top Customer Reviews
It is a must read for any executive operating in US especially if she is not a US citizen. Canadian executives will learn a lot about the internal mechanics of their own legal system and securities regulators and very sensitive and complicated relationships they have with their US counterparts. Every executive will also learn about the realities of working with hyper-expensive lawyers (Brendan Sullivan, Eddie Greenspan) who frequently value their egos, pockets and good relations with other lawyers and judges much more than their own clients' good (clients are treated as "bloody nuisance" by some of these guys per Black).
Black is not only a good writer. He has a strong analytical mind coupled with academic training in history and law and vast business experience. Prior to systematic destruction by "governance" zealots and their greedy collaborators described in the book, Hollinger and related companies were a world class success that allowed Black to maintain close business and personal relationship with ruling (and ex-ruling) elites such as Kissinger, British lords, Pearle etc. His portraits of these people and their ways are perceptive and highly educational.
The last chapter alone is worth the price of the book even if the reader has no interest in Black as a person.Read more ›
'He's taking from them, he's taking from you
Lawyers love money, anybody's will do'
Only at the very end of this saga, when Black appeals his convictions to the Supreme Court of the United States, does he seem to find competent counsel who are interested in doing the best for their client, rather than grandstanding for the enhancement of their reputations.
In addition to a very detailed accounting of the legal issues surrounding his situation, Black takes some time to comment on the very damaging effect of the unrestrained prosecutorial system in the U.S. He draws on his experience in prison to make some very trenchant comments on where the U.S. is headed under this regime.
It would be untrue to say this book is an easy read: the issues and personalities are complex and the story long and complicated. But the reward is great. It is very uplifting how Conrad Black has persevered in the face of attempts to destroy him that are partly ideological, partly pure greed, and partly personal animus. Reading this book, you see the strong and affectionate bond between Conrad Black and his wife, Barbara Amiel, and with the rest of his family.
And you will see clearly how the U.S. is well on the road to becoming a cruel and twisted state, with the fundamental rights emplaced by the Founding Fathers viciously flouted and ignored by the judicial system.
Most recent customer reviews
As someone who has always admired the US this book really opened my eyes to the judicial sham in the US. It is mind boggling that this can happen to anyone. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Alice Andersen
Conrad Black is a giant amongst Canadian elites; underestimated and under appreciated in his own country. Read morePublished on Jan. 17 2014 by Paul Sanders
In typical Conrad Black writing style, this book is a rambling lambasting of everyone and everything who he holds responsible for his legal troubles while his Hollinger companies... Read morePublished on Aug. 3 2013 by DGM
A Poorly written, but an excellent account of his legal problems. Poorly written, because I needed several dictionaries to understand the use of his flamboyant words. Read morePublished on July 27 2013 by Walter Jackson
Though I find Black readable, I don't find him a credible read because of his propensity to either bask in the dangerously delusional sense of self-importance or to wallow in the... Read morePublished on March 28 2012 by Ian Gordon Malcomson